IN THE NEWS: Partying for Purim

Shani McManus, Staff Writer

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Mar 25, 2014

More than 150 seniors, ages 75 and up, along with musicians, masks and costumes filled two rooms at the Weisman Delray Community Center in Delray Beach on Monday for an all out celebration of the Purim holiday.

The seniors are members of the regular Monday morning social group, the Feldman Family Diamond & Adventure Club. But the group went overboard for the Purim celebration with energetic live music booming from two rooms that had the seniors up on their feet dancing and singing along to the "oldies," along with plenty of party fare.

"I think it was wonderful for seniors to enjoy a morning out singing and dancing," Gloria Del Prete, a Kings Point resident in Delray Beach said of the Purim Party. "I even did a belly dance. Thierry Khalfa, the French entertainer played every kind of music, and a belly dance song was one of them."

Boca Raton Century Village resident Warren Weiss, age 79, said he is thankful to the Feldman family for sponsoring the party.

"I think the Purim celebration was great, they did an exceptional job," he said. "It's also nostalgic. The programs they provide are on the level the participants can understand. The family that's sponsoring this really has gone over the top."

Weiss had just sat down for a rest after a quick spin around the floor with his 85-year-old girlfriend, Elaine Cohen from Kings Point in Delray Beach. Ask if she was a "cougar" because of the age difference, Cohen just laughed and winked.

"I met Warren here at the Diamond Club last year, and we've been going out since then," she said. "I've been having just a great time at the Purim Party singing and dancing. I think it's wonderful, and the music is great."

Cohen, originally from Boston, said he "loves" being a member of the Feldman Family Diamond Club.

"I've told so many people about it, and said they should come and give it a try," Cohen said. "There's no need to be lonely. I come here every week. I think the Diamond Club is the best thing in Florida."

RRJFS staff, board chair and program supporters also were on hand for the celebration.

"The Purim Party was a wonderful way to bring seniors out of their homes to share good times with their peers," Risa Demato, RRJFS site director at the Weisman Delray Community Center said. "The Feldman Family Diamond Club is just one of the many wonderful programs we have at the Weisman Center which allow seniors in our community to engage mentally and socially with others."

Hannah Klingsberg, coordinator for the Feldman Family Diamond & Adventure Club at RRJFS said the Feldman Family Diamond Club is "growing by leaps and bounds," attracting seniors 75 and older every week.

"The Club features entertainment, an opportunity to come together for socialization, community service projects, current event discussions and day trips," she said. "It also enables all the members to learn about the extensive programs offered that are needed to help them age in place."

The Feldman Family Adventure Club offers monthly trips to museums, theater, outdoor activities, boat trips and more for high activity level seniors which includes lunch and transportation.

"The trips are always at a nominal cost," Klingsberg noted, "a chance to meet new people and just have fun."

For more information about the Feldman Family Diamond and Adventure Club, contact Hannah Klingsberg at 561-558-2156.

Ruth & Norman Rales Jewish Family Services (JFS) provides help, hope and humanity through a comprehensive range of programs and services which support people of all ages and beliefs. With locations in Boca Raton and Delray Beach, JFS programs and services include food and financial assistance, senior services, vocational training, counseling and mental health services and many volunteer opportunities. Funding is provided by private and corporate support, grants, special events and individuals who reach thousands in need each year. For more information about JFS volunteer opportunities and services for seniors, contact 561-852-3333. Learn more at ruthralesjfs.org.

Photo Caption:
From left, seniors Elaine Cohen, Warren Weiss, and Gloria Del Prete, donned their dancing shoes at last week’s Purim Party at the Weisman Delray Community Center in Delray Beach.

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